Circus News

A New City Point Residency Gives Aerialists and Acrobats A Chance

For aerialists like Kyla Ernst-Alper, life during the pandemic has felt pretty precarious.

Ernst-Alper, whose job – using her airborne body as a means of visual storytelling – depends on the tight margins of freelance gigs and self-produced shows at clubs and theaters around the city, has always struggled for her art. Before the pandemic, it was a slog to even find adequate practice space; now, with many of the studios that once offered rental space to aerialists and acrobats closed temporarily or permanently, it’s next to impossible.

Limited to training with a free-standing rig in her apartment during the colder months, Ernst-Alper sought something better for herself and the city’s close-knit community of circus performers, a category which includes performers like acrobats and aerialists. Today, in partnership with City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, Ernst-Alper is launching a new, two-month residency that will give aerialists and acrobats the ample space – and height – required to work on their acts. The residency, called Aerialists & Acrobats, will provide the artists with access to City Point’s event space, BKLYN STUDIOS, which offers 13,000 square feet of space as well as 24-foot-tall ceilings.

“I [started] this project because all my friends were depressed, and we had nowhere to train,” Ernst-Alper told Bklyner over the phone.

Typically the city’s aerialists are given access to free or discounted training space in exchange for teaching classes, Ernst-Alper explained. Since the pandemic started, of course, that resource has dried up. Many training spaces are no longer accessible: Long Island City’s Circus Warehouse, one of the city’s largest circus training facilities, has closed its doors temporarily; the space at circus school The Muse in Bushwick, which became open-air during the pandemic, is no longer a viable option as temperatures have dropped…

Read the Full Article at Bklyner